Saturday, April 23, 2016

A HIke to St Peter's Dome and a really nice waterfall!

Spring is happening!  The trees are just starting to bud, the grass is green and the temps are just right for a hike in the North Woods.  Early hikes like this are special as the biting insects are not yet out and the temps are very favorable to climbing rocky steep trails.

This weekend I zeroed in on a place I have wanted to see for some time.  It's a granite bluff with a beautiful view of Northern Wisconsin with a vista that sweeps 30 miles to Lake Superior.

About 500 Meters from the trail head you get to make a choice.  To the right is Morgan Falls, to the left is the Dome.

Morgan Falls is especially picture worthy in the early spring when the snow melt increases the flow rate to three and four times what we see in this pic taken this morning.  A beautiful red granite rock cut forms the falls.

A little different angle. 

How about a selfie with a Nikon?  I brought a couple of cameras on this hike.

If you turn left at the sign post and go on the St Peter's Dome trail, you start off with a pretty well groomed surface.

Things thin out and slowly get a bit more austere.

This is a topo from my Garmin - I finally remembered to bring my GPS on a hike!

It's still very early spring here.  Night time temperatures are still around freezing, but these trees are starting to bud.  In another week or two this will be a totally green leafed forest.

You hike through two or three streams and actually follow a stream bead on part of this hike.

A light cloud cover muted the greens, but the moss was very spectacular.  

Blaze on this trail is a blue diamond.  There are a few spots where you have to look hard to find a marker.
Well here we are at the rock face.  To the horizon is Lake Superior and at bout 11 o'clock is the harbor town of Ashland, Wisconsin.

This is a mixed forest of pine and hardwoods. This is the view from St Peter's Dome.

I pushed the DC Vario ELMARIT to the limit to zoom in on Ashland Harbor from the rock face of St Peter's Dome. This is  almost 30 miles away!  Leica makes good optics...

Hard to see depth in this shot, but what I'm pointing out is snowmobile cleat scarring of the granite rocks on the trail.  During the winter, with snow on the ground, snowmobiler's visit the dome too.  Their spinning cleated track makes these cuts in the rock.
A low trickle, these streams grow pretty quickly when it rains, and in the spring melt.  Lots of debris falls into the spring fed streams and tannin's leach out.

Just for fun... a Google Earth pic of this trail reveals how densely wooded and how green this remote part of Wisconsin is once the trees leaf out.
Hope you liked the hike!


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